Announcement Date: January 1, 2011

Bird's Eye View Summary Display



Business Challenge

How to enter a mature market (serial protocol analysis) owned by an entrenched competitor?
The competitor’s UX, considered industry-standard, was not capable of handling the latest emerging hi-speed serial protocol (PCIE3)
Our system was the most accurate and least invasive of any on the planet, but its user experience was awful.
Our accuracy forced engineers to look at 1GB data captures practically one bit at a time. 
The business believed with our superior hardware and an improved UX, we could take significant market share from the competition. The only question was, “How?” 





We designed an information visualization offering multiple views into the same data acquisition.
This approach offered validation engineers a variety of ways to view the problem, without risking another data capture.
For example, the summary display (shown here), renders five separate views, all linked together in a “zoomable” interface.
One revolutionary approach was a “bird’s eye view” (shown below): in a 100 pixel-wide container, five separate visualizations quickly show the debug engineer important attributes of the acquired data. 
Equally revolutionary was the front panel itself (shown below) and its configuration screen. Our design shifted the task from pure configuration to debug + configuration, a close alignment to how the engineers really worked. 

Bird's Eye View Error Display    Bird's Eye View Transaction Latency View     Bird's Eye View Detail of Flow Control    Bird's Eye View State machine View    Detail of cursor hint / rollover for Bird's Eye View       Acquisition modulel front panel    Front Panel configuration screen for acquisition module                        


ProcessBird's Eye View specification redline

Creating a new instrument class (protocol analyzer) took over four years to complete.
With each release we pushed the envelope for the user experience, beginning with setup, moving to aggregate statistical analysis and ultimately providing interactive visualizations
Bird's Eye View roll-over detailAll along the way we worked with users, establishing an intimate relationship as they tried our intermediate releases and offered feedback.




My Contribution

I was responsible for all user experience design activities from initial research through conceptual design to visual design, interaction design and specification.
In addition, I managed other researchers and designers providing creative direction for pieces of the work.
I was a co-Product Owner on the project, working with my partner, a Product Manager in prioritizing and authoring user stories, reviewing acceptance criteria and story completion.
Further, I scripted, captured, edited, did voice over for and post-processed several training videos.
Finally, I received an Honorable Mention at CHI2011 for a paper discussing several innovations, including dynamic sparklines and the system approach required to re-engineer the experience.